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Results of the February 2013 Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Index Rises Sharply

The Ifo Business Climate Index for German industry and trade rose significantly by over three points in February. This represents its greatest increase since July 2010. Satisfaction with the current business situation continued to grow. Survey participants also expressed greater optimism about their future business perspectives. The German economy is regaining momentum.

In manufacturing the business climate indicator rose sharply. This was specifically due to a considerably more optimistic business outlook. Manufacturers also expressed greater satisfaction with their current business situation. Export expectations increased and are now above their long-term average once again.

In wholesaling the business climate also improved clearly after deteriorating last month. Wholesalers are more satisfied with their current business situation and less pessimistic about future business developments. In retailing, on the other hand, the business climate remained unchanged. Assessments of the current business situation were more positive than last month, but retailers were slightly more sceptical about their future business developments.

In construction the business climate index continued to rise sharply, primarily due to a far more optimistic business outlook. The business outlook reached its highest level since German reunification. Satisfaction with the current business situation also continued to grow.  

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute 

Results of the Ifo Business Survey in Germany in all details (in German)

  1. "ifo Konjunkturperspektiven 02/2013", ifo Institut, München, 2013 | Details | Download

Summary of the Results

  1. Results of the Ifo Business Survey (Summary) of February 2013 | Mar 11, 2013 | Information service | Details

Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index)

Image Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index)

Business Situation and Expectations by Sector (Balances)

Image Business Situation and Expectations by Sector (Balances)

Ifo Business-Cycle Clock

Image Ifo Business-Cycle Clock

Time series


Ifo Business Climate Germany (Index, 2005 = 100, seasonally adjusted)
 02/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/1210/1211/1212/1201/1302/13
Climate 109.5 109.8 109.7 106.6 105.2 103.2 102.2 101.4 100.1 101.5 102.5 104.3 107.4
Situation 117.3 117.4 117.3 113.1 113.9 111.5 111.0 110.2 107.3 108.1 107.1 108.1 110.2
Expectations 102.2 102.7 102.5 100.6 97.1 95.5 94.1 93.3 93.4 95.4 98.1 100.6 104.6
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Ifo Business Climate Germany (Balances, seasonally adjusted)
 02/1203/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/1210/1211/1212/1201/1302/13
Trade and Industry 11.3 11.9 11.7 5.9 3.0 -0.8 -2.6 -4.3 -6.8 -4.0 -2.2 1.3 7.3
Manufacturing 13.9 13.8 15.0 9.9 4.5 -2.2 -1.4 -4.2 -7.0 -6.3 -2.8 2.8 9.5
Construction 3.3 2.2 -3.9 -5.2 -4.7 -6.6 -6.8 -10.0 -11.6 -7.4 -6.6 -0.2 6.9
Wholesaling 14.5 12.9 12.5 7.7 5.1 3.9 -2.6 0.0 -3.2 4.8 3.4 -1.4 6.3
Retailing 3.6 10.6 10.2 -3.8 0.4 5.0 -5.0 -4.1 -5.7 -0.4 -1.2 -1.2 -1.2
Source: Ifo Business Survey

Explanatory note

The Ifo Business Climate Index is based on ca. 7,000 monthly survey responses from firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing. The firms are asked to give their assessments of the current business situation and their expectations for the next six months. They can characterise their situation as “good”, “satisfactory” or “poor” and their business expectations for the next six months as “more favourable”, “unchanged” or “more unfavourable”. The balance value of the current business situation is the difference between the percentages of the responses “good” and “poor”, the balance value of the expectations is the difference between the percentages of the responses “more favourable” and “more unfavourable”. The business climate is a transformed mean of the balances of the business situation and the expectations. For the purpose of calculating the index values, the transformed balances are all normalized to the average of the year 2005.